As talk swirls about President Biden naming Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as U.S. Ambassador to India, AHF and its Housing Is A Human Right housing advocacy arm voice their strong opposition, noting both his work on L.A.’s homeless crisis and term as mayor—through November 2022—remain unfinished
At a time when Californians are concerned about the effort and expense of California’s gubernatorial recall, Garcetti’s resignation for an ambassadorship could trigger four elections in the next year-and-a-half
Housing justice advocates from AHF and its housing advocacy arm, Housing Is A Human Right (HHR), today are speaking out strongly against the Biden administration’s possible consideration of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as a candidate for the role of U.S. Ambassador to India. The news was reported late last night by the Los Angeles Times, which noted: "White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked Wednesday at a news briefing about a possible Garcetti appointment."
Psaki dodged answering the question directly but suggested the White House would have more formal announcements on ambassadorial appointments in the near future. Garcetti served as co-chair of the 2020 Biden/Harris presidential campaign and was one of the team leading the search for Biden’s vice president.
"As mayor and as councilmember before, Eric Garcetti has been just terrible on poverty and homelessness, far more willing to curry favor—and collect campaign contributions—from property developers and other special interests. Now, as L.A.’s ship is finally coming in, with over two billion in federal and state aid earmarked to address our homeless and affordable housing crisis, there is talk that Garcetti may bolt to become Ambassador to India," said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. "Well, if you leave in the middle of this crisis, please don’t come back!"
At a time when Californians are concerned about the effort and expense of California’s gubernatorial recall election (thought to cost as much as $400M), Garcetti’s resignation for an ambassadorship could also trigger up to four elections in the next year-and-a-half, between primaries and runoffs.
Weinstein added, "Mr. President: Mayor Garcetti’s job here in Los Angeles remains unfinished. We appreciate the service he provided to you during your campaign, but a patronage appointment now sends the entirely wrong message to both Los Angeles AND India, which also has many poor and homeless people."
As to Garcetti’s work as mayor, the Times article also noted: "While COVID-19 case numbers have dropped and businesses have reopened, city leaders continue to grapple with a growing homelessness crisis. The city is facing potentially sweeping action by a federal judge over its handling of homelessness. At the same time, shootings are up almost 67% over the same period last year, and homicides are up more than 26%."
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Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications for AHF, +1.323.791.5526, email@example.com